Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Date with the Dildo Cam

I went to the local RE's office today to have an ultrasound and to discuss my blood work results from the tests done last cycle.

I came out of there with a smile so broad, I'm sure I looked ridiculous. In the car, I even let out a little "Wooo!" of glee.

It's been awhile since I had the pleasure of an external ultrasound as well as the good ol' dildo cam. Oh joy. It wasn't anything that I wasn't prepared for; I guess having gone through so many tests and so many years of IF, it's not a shock for me. I hear that some women are terribly traumatized by the dildo cam. I can understand that; certainly if you're not ready for it or you feel violated or invaded. I never really did, and I've learned to guide technicians to the right spots to best view the ovaries. (You know you've done this too much when...)

Anyway, the tests were finished, and I went from the ultrasound room on the main floor to the offices upstairs for my appointment with the RE.

He opened my file and blinked. And I quote:

"Wow. Gil. This is great. You have the LH and the FSH of a teenager."

I'm so lucky. In the same breath he told me he'd seen a 36-year old earlier this week who is in early menopause. My heart sank for her, and her hopes of having a family with her own eggs. I don't know what that's like but I do realize that so many of us do.

Anyway, I suspected that my results were good, as I had obtained a copy of them from my GP a couple of weeks ago. But I didn't think he'd consider them quite that good. So I'm really pleased with his reaction.

And better yet, I have TEN (count 'em!), TEN antral follicles! I am super pleased with that bit of news! I still have that functional cyst on the right but at the moment my estradiol is not reflecting elevated numbers so it's not affecting the hormone levels. That bodes well for aspiration of that cyst prior to starting a cycle, sort of like we did the last time around.

Would you believe he shook my hand and said, "Good luck. We know you're fertile so I really hope the second time around works as well as the first."

Fertile. Oh my. I've been called a number of things... some good, some rather derogatory, but "fertile" is not a term that I'd apply to myself. That's for sure. In fact, we are definitely infertile; we NEED IVF to create our family. That's never easy. But it's something we can do. So we'll look at pursuing it.


We've cleared the first hurdle.

Good thing. Because regardless what opinion the local RE has, I guarantee you, I'm no teenager.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Odds and Ends

My head is a jumble of things. So here's an odds and ends post in points for you. That's sorta what happens when I get busy and I'm not entirely sure what to post, but life goes on and there's a whole lotta stuff going on these days.

Hubby just celebrated his 44th birthday on Sunday, April 15. This date was also the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, off the coast of my home province of Newfoundland. It was a beautiful morning so we took Petite out to a park for some fun on the swings and the slide. She had so much fun. She didn't want to go down for her afternoon nap! That evening, we went to my friend's house (yeah, she fell asleep in the car and I drove around for 40 mins while she slept). My friend made dinner for everyone, we brought dessert, and everyone had a lovely meal. It was delicious! Happy 44th Birthday honey. I know this past year hasn't been all that amazing to us, but with a little luck and some hard work, 2012-13 WILL be better. I love you. Never doubt that, even in my most bitchy PMS moments!

While at my friend's house, Hubby did his 2010 taxes (yes, he's woefully behind). Dear baby Jesus, if the figures are right, he owes about $3500. So much for the vacation we had hoped to take in February of next year... It may all go up in smoke. Crap. I was desperately hoping that we'd be able to pull that off. We were all looking forward to it but if he owes that much, I just don't see it happening. Anyway, learning that put me in a rather disheartened mood on Hubby's birthday. And that's a miserable way to be on his special day.

Added to the fun, I was PMSing pretty badly. Aunt Flo was due and every three or four months, I get PMS badly. The bloating. The moodiness. The discomfort. Aches. Pain. Swelling. It's not fun. And it just so happened that all peaked on Sunday. Ugh.

Yesterday, Petite had a bit of a runny nose. Today, she sounds stuffy and she was definitely more clingy this morning. She may very well need to be home later this week, snuggling with Mommy and Daddy instead of playing at daycare and spreading her germs.

Just as I suspected, Aunt Flo has arrived. (CD1 is today, April 17.) I called to schedule my ultrasound and follow-up appointment with the local RE, which will be on Thursday afternoon. We have an appointment booked for May to go to Montreal to determine what next steps we take, if any, given that whole 'need-to-pay-a-boatload-of-taxes' stuff. More ugh.

Thursday night, just after midnight, my parents arrive for a week-long visit. Timed perfectly to catch Petite's cold, I'm sure. (Will we repeat the visit from Hell? Stay tuned for Part Deux!)

And just to make things more fun, Petite is supposed to have her allergy testing on Saturday, the 21st. I certainly won't make her do that if she's laid up with a miserable cold though. Poor kid.

I started going back to the gym at the office. I have to work through my lunch in order to squeeze time to do it, but I've been doing it for more than a week now. I have to continue doing this, for me and for my family. I want to be here to experience Petite's life and if I don't get things under control, I fear she will lose her mom before she is ready. I have to do everything in my power to keep that from happening.

We need to make some upgrades to the house, but until the finances are in order, that can't happen either. I had hoped to purchase some stone and enlist my dad's help this weekend (weather permitting) to redo the edging on the flower bed. That may have to wait. We'll see. There's also the time factor; I simply don't know when I can go purchase these sorts of things with the schedule that I have to keep. I need to replace our pool liner (usually costs about $5K). We need to redo the backyard fence badly. I wanted to reallocate an area in the backyard for Petite to play and buy a little swing set for her. Alas, I expect that won't happen right now. It's frustrating to know that all this work needs to be done and right now, the cash flow isn't there to handle it. And how in the name of God do I expect to do another IVF? Am I insane? I just don't know.

Oh, and we had an insurance rep come to the house to discuss life insurance for Petite. I had been thinking about that for quite some time and meant to do it. Last week I got off my butt and did something about it. That eases my mind a great deal. But again, finding the money to pay for these things. Wow. It's overwhelming how much cash goes OUT of our pockets for so many things.

Easter was good, if low-key. We didn't give Petite much chocolate; she's still being rationed on the stash from Valentine's and she's only just finished what she received for Christmas! But we did get her a few little ones and hid eggs around the main floor of our home. We also got her some Easter goodies, like a skip rope, a bug barn (she's fascinated by ladybugs), an Easter book, Easter decorations for her room, bubbles for outdoors, and a few things like that. She had a whole bag of toys and fun stuff to open and play with.

For Hubby's birthday, I bought tickets for us to go see Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall. What an amazing show! We had a blast. My stepson and my friend's daughter (who are good friends themselves) babysat Petite together. They did great and it was lovely to get out for an evening with adults. I'd like some more of that sort of thing. But I suppose I have to actually find the money to do it with, right?

Petite is now MORE than adept with my iPhone! She's able to find and start up her favourite games, scroll through my photos, and take pictures of her own! I would think that for her third birthday in August, I'm going to have to get her something like an iPod and load it with her own apps, and things, and buy the kid-friendly protective holder for it. Technology huh? Well, it goes without saying that she'll be exposed to it in our house. Now to keep her from hollering for "Tom Cat!" (aka "Talking Tom Cat"every time I put her in her carseat.

Oh such wonderful news! Remember back in the fall, the whole "Win a Baby" contest on our local radio station, The New HOT 89.9? Well, this morning the third of five couples announced a pregnancy! AMAZING! So out of the five couples, three are pregnant now, and one of those three is pregnant with identical twins! The ultrasounds are really cool to see and so many people are extremely supportive of them, keeping fingers crossed and sending good wishes, all that sort of thing. Wonderful, wonderful news. How lucky they all are. Would that we could all have our IVF financed and avoid that costly, difficult step. I am sure they all know they are truly blessed.

Have a great week everyone.

Friday, April 13, 2012

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by FindingChaos/Soulemama.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment'
in the comments for all to find and see.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blood Work Results and More Appointments

So after a consult with a local RE awhile ago, here's where things stand.

If we're looking at trying again (and I'll be honest, I'm seriously debating this at the moment), we're better off going to Montréal again, back to McGill. The local RE (at OFC) is quite happy to liaise with them and monitor here in Ottawa as required. I called McGill and made an appointment for May; we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, the RE here started some preliminary blood work. Here are the results that I discussed with my GP this morning.

Sample taken on March 23, 2012 (CD3) with the following meds:

1.0 mcg synthroid (for hypothyroidism) and 0.75 mg sandoz-diclofenac (for psoriatic arthritis, which is quite bad at the moment)

LH -- 1.0 (LOW for Follicular phase; 2-13 = normal)

FSH -- 6 (6-9 = good... while under 6 is excellent)

TSH -- 3.06 (personally too high for me)

Estradiol (E2)-- 185 (70-530 normal) * Note for my American readers: This converts to 50 in American levels.

Ferritin -- 42 (31-72 indicateds REDUCED iron stores, but it's better than where I was!)

Moving forward, my GP has prescribed Metformin again (to regulate the PCOS). She increased my dose of synthroid; my TSH is way too high for me to be comfortable. I knew weeks ago that something was off. My face is puffy; my eyelids are swollen in the morning and I'm biting the insides of my cheeks daily which is a huge sign for me that my TSH is too high. She discussed stopping the diclofenac just prior to doing the IVF (as we know it can be harmful in pregnancy). And she is not concerned with the iron levels, even though they're somewhat reduced.

From what I also see, my LH is low, but that can be regulated in an IVF cycle. And I believe that my FSH of 6 is not too shabby for a woman who will be *gulp* 42 next month. I will discuss these things with the RE when I have an ultrasound later this month to check antral follicle counts and discuss the blood work results.

More blood work to follow before our appointment in May: upcoming is Prolactin, CBC, HIV, HbsAg, HCV, and Rubella... along with the blood group (which I know is A+).

I don't know. I just don't know if this is the right path at the moment. But I need to follow this road a little and see where it brings us. The plan was always two. But can we? Should we? Does this make sense? I don't know. I truly do not know and I'm torn this time around. WE got so lucky. Who's to say all hell won't break loose this time around? That terrifes me, to the point of freezing in stasis and just letting time pass until it's too late.

I just don't know...

But on my way home, I'm picking up my prescriptions and I'll up my dose of synthroid and get back on the Metformin. We shall see...

Monday, April 02, 2012

Insensitive Twits and Stupid Callousness (AKA April Fool's)

Rant incoming.
Yes, it's MY blog. I get to bloody well rant when I want to. And be aware: strong language is likely part of this one.

Holy mother of baby Jesus.

Stupid updates abound on April Fool's Day, don't they? Seriously! Now, I get it: I know I'm probably more sensitive than the general population, having dealt with 6+ years of infertility and going through hell and back. But yanno, I really, really don't find it one bit funny that people decide to post a picture of a goddamned ultrasound and chose to announce a pregnancy to the entire fucking world in this manner.

Look at your history. Maybe you had a little, tiny bit of trouble (read: three months worth) trying to conceive one of your children. Maybe you even sought out the help of a true infertile at one point to talk to, to attempt to understand what she goes through, or to try to learn about what tests the infertility doctor might have you do at your scheduled appointment. Maybe you realized before that damn RE appointment came around that you were actually pregnant (stupid fertiles).

Maybe you should stop for a moment, just a fucking MOMENT, and think; think about all the people on your FB friends list that ARE infertile and dealing with IUI, IVF, donor gametes, injections, surgeries, etc. to try to have a baby. Or those that have had a miscarriage. Or a stillbirth. Or those that have given up hoping. Those that are dealing with depression because of their inability to have a family. Those that have decided to live childless but not by choice... and who yearn daily for years to have a child.

Maybe, just MAYBE you should grow a fucking brain before you post an April Fool's Day status update stating that you're pregnant.

Oh wait... too late. On the brain part that is.

Because my friends, yes indeed, there are the brainless wonders that post an ultrasound in that FB status update. I kid you not. A fucking ULTRASOUND. Good flying fuck. If you did this, I have to say, you are without a doubt an absolute twit. You are, in my view, a stupid idiot. You would be the absolute height of insensitivity and callousness. You, stunned brainless git, need to be slapped silly. You have absolute GALL to flaunt the mere possibility of being pregnant in the face of all of those people that grieve, yearn, try and cry. That means that you are one of the most insensitive and stupid individuals that I have ever had the misfortune to meet.


Take that shit down. That is cruel and unfeeling. Grow the fuck up. And be a damned adult... assuming you are an adult (questionable, at best).


Man, this shit makes my blood boil. Can you tell?